Stage set up for a concertIt was a pleasure to be invited back to The Wild Hog In The Woods to play a May concert.  I appreciate not having to set up my own sound thanks to the people who volunteer week after week to do that job.  All I needed to be concerned with was setting my instruments!  If you are in the Madison, WI area on a Friday night, check out this venue.  It's the longest running venues for folk music in the area.  This unique coffeehouse gets its name from an old English fiddle tune, and is located in the Wil-Mar community Center, which is housed in an old church in downtown Madison.  It is run entirely by a group of dedicated volunteers who have given live, acoustic music a home for more than 30 years.

I decided to use this opportunity to try out some new material.  I've been working for many weeks on a program I will be taking on tour this summer, so it was great to take some songs out of the practice room and send them out into the world.  Since my last visit in May of last year, I've added a Wechter Nashville tuned guitar and ukelele to my string menagerie.  The Wechter is really a sweet instrument, and it got a workout that night.  I recently finished writing a new song called, Little Bird, and the delicate Nashville tuning is the perfect sound for accompaniment.     

Impromtu uke/vocal solo during the open mic. During intermission there was an open mic, so the sound engineer played a few tunes on a beautiful, hand-crafted autoharp.  Then we were treated to a clarinet piece played by a high school student that was really stellar.  I don't recall her name, but she was really accomplished for such a young player.  She asked if she could borrow my uke, and played and sang for us, too.  I love it when kids share their music with everyone!  The atmosphere at 'The Hog,' is laid back and welcoming, so it's the perfect place for people to swap tunes.  

Diane tuning the banjo

 

 

 

After re-tuning all those strings, the second set got underway.  I started by telling one of my favorite stories, "The Gentle People."  It's a timeless story from South America, about a people, the land they loved, and the greedy people who tried to take if from them.  I am hoping to re-release a recording of it sometime in the near future.  A week before the concert, I got an e-mail from a couple who were interested in the mountain dulcimer, and wondered if I would be playing mine for the concert.  I was happy to learn they were in the audience having come up from Janesville, WI, for the show.  I did two songs with the dulcimer for them, and we had an interesting conversation after the concert.  It turned out that they were part of a program that purchased a number of mountain dulcimers to take into the public schools so children could learn to play.  Such a great idea.  The dulcimer is a very accessible instrument for people to learn, and giving young people that opportunity is such a worthwhile project.  Diane Playing the dulcimer  

I remembered my bag of rhythm instruments, so the audience had a blast playing along on a couple of songs.  I've realized over the years that people really enjoy being included in that way, in addition to singing with me.  I always enjoy hearing voices and rhythm coming from the audience.  

The concert wrapped up right on time, and we hung around for quite a while talking with people.  I'm always grateful for the wonderful people I meet wherever I play.  I already got a return invitation  . . . so I'll see everyone again next year! 

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New Release

Diane's new single, an original, finger-style guitar tune, "Afternoon By A Stream," is out now on iTunes!

You can also purchase a download directly through CD Baby on Diane's SHOP page.

 

An image of a young boy wading in a shallow stream surrounded by moss-covered, sandstone cliffs